3 Reasons My Autistic Children Will NOT Carry a Blue Pumpkin for Halloween

There’s a new idea going around this October.

Children who are autistic, or otherwise nonspeaking, can carry a blue pumpkin Halloween night. This will signal to the treat-giver that the child wants candy, but can’t say the words, “Trick or Treat.”

Similar ideas have popped up in past years, such as bags with the words, “I can’t say Trick or Treat, but I’m trying!”

treat bag

While I don’t personally have a problem with these ideas, my family will not be using them. Here’s why:

 

1. I’m the one in charge of protecting my children.

It’s my job to make sure my children aren’t harassed or emotionally abused on Halloween, and every other day of the year. Their emotional health is my top priority.

I can’t be certain that every person in the neighborhood knows what the blue pumpkin signifies. I can assure you, most people won’t have a clue.

So instead of relying on others to be kind, I will only take my kids to visit places where I know they’ll be welcome. We may attend a “Trunk or Treat” at their school. Everyone knows them there!

We might even knock on a few of our neighbor’s doors – But only the ones who know us personally. There are plenty of safe spaces to choose from that don’t involve trusting a stranger with my children.

 

2. Mean old Mary down the street doesn’t really care about my kid’s issues.

The people who harass children to say “Trick or Treat” aren’t in my Disability Rights group on Facebook. They aren’t calling the school board about inclusive practices.

They probably don’t even know that the blue pumpkin is a “thing,” and they couldn’t care less. Withholding candy for performance is a controlling act, and no “awareness” swag is going to change their ways.

 

3. Labeling disabled people is wrong.

Call me over-dramatic, I don’t care.

I’m not putting a label on my kids just so strangers will treat them with respect. They don’t need to explain themselves to anyone, just to validate their participation in an activity with everyone else.

I’m teaching my kids that they’re worthy of respect no matter what. They don’t need to wear a label or a sticker. They don’t need to explain their existence. They just need to be themselves… (or a fire fighter, or a wolf, or an alligator)!

 

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10 Replies to “3 Reasons My Autistic Children Will NOT Carry a Blue Pumpkin for Halloween”

    1. I don’t think anyone ever has. I mean, there are always jerks, but no bag or colored pumpkin is going to stop that. A lot of children are shy and a lot of parents know that. Why call attention to your child’s specific reason?

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  1. I am not an autism mom, and I do understand the “labeling” of anyone with a disability. However, I do feel like the blue pumpkin could be a learning situation for all kids and adults, as well. I’m not suggesting anyone be labeled but I know most autistic persons don’t like physical touch and some have social anxieties. Its important to help others understand that they require certain things and if a blue pumpkin shows, then others should be respectful. I too, tried to take my kids only to places we were familiar. But kids love to see the festivities around their community. So I allowed them to enjoy it. If this were my time with my kids, I would surely use the blue pumpkin to educate them to give them space and respect them as any other.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow. Lots of anger in this post. Thanks for sharing though. As a father of a mostly Non vebal Autistic child I am always looking for ways to break more into his world and draw him a little more out of his. He’s perfect as is and I never say he has special needs he just needs me to be special. While it isn’t my job to bring people up to speed with where he is at and all the reasons why he is the way he is I’d rather open doors and extend a hand than close them and never reach out. Maybe I’m wrong and your not as upset as this post seems and I’m sure either way what I think won’t matter much to you. I guess I’m only writing this because I feel so strongly about broadening his world at any and all cost. I don’t look at this as lableing who he is and it definitely doesn’t define who he is. He is my son and he has Autism and I love him and am proud of him in everyway and my talking about it with him and sharing the reasons why I’m carrying the bucket , and probably him too a few blocks in, is an opportunity to educate and extend that hand and that can’t do anything other than possibly bridge a gap. God bless

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely agree with you. No one needs to know my child’s diagnosis in order for my child to deserve candy just like everyone else. Halloween should include everyone, regardless of age, ability to wear a costume, or disability. I loved your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. as someone with autism I applaud you for reason 3 I hate having to explain why I flap my hands or rock back and forth but can write an essay normally. I think people shouldn’t need a reason to treat everyone with respect it should just happen

    Liked by 2 people

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